People of the Moon

Written by Kathleen O'Neal Gear W. Michael Gear
Review by Gerald T. Burke

About 1150 in the western United States, on what is now the New Mexico/Colorado border, Ripple, a member of the First Moon People, hunts in the mountains. After killing an elk, he signals for his friends to help retrieve the meat. It has been a very hot and dry summer, but during the night as he waits for their arrival, Ripple has a vision from Cold Bringing Woman. They strike a deal to free the First Moon People from the tyrannous yoke of the First People. Thus begins the story of the cataclysmic events, both natural and man-made, that spell the end of a civilization. It is a saga involving myths, gods, war, and conquest, as well as the timeless human qualities of decency, bravery, loyalty, deceit, betrayal, and greed.

The novel, another entry in the fine First North Americans Series, is a fascinating glimpse into Native American history, a story about tumultuous events that changed the lives of the Chaco Anasazi forever. The Gears have constructed a fine, historically rich narrative around interesting and complex characters. Although a bit long, the novel is well worth exploring.